It was exciting to get an e-mail the other day from Robert Plotkin, the Boston-based patent attorney whose book manuscript I helped with back a couple of years ago. Robert is an expert in software patents, and his book is about how the patent system must evolve to cope with a new order of software – “genies” capable of replacing human engineers in the design of products ranging from cars to toothbrushes to pretty much anything.
Like most expert authors I’ve worked with, Robert is not only deeply knowledgeable but inherently a good writer. Most of my critiquing had to do with introducing him to the conventions of book-length nonfiction and helping him develop a writing voice that was clear and relaxed, yet authoritative. Needless to say this was a lot of fun.
At any rate, Robert’s email was to let me know the pub date is in April. Edit: Since this post was put up, the pub date has been moved to May 1. If you’ve got any interest in software, patents, or the future of business in a world increasingly dependent on genie-style technology, check out Robert’s blog, Automating Invention: Computers, Invention, and the Law. You can preorder from Amazon, too. Beyond that I hope to do an interview with Robert shortly and post it here – stay tuned.